Today, the U.S. Supreme Court handed the GOP a massive victory in their war on women in their narrow Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. decision. The ruling allows so-called “Christian”-owned Hobby Lobby to deny contraception to their female employees because of their “sincerely-held religious beliefs” that women should be discriminated against. Yet, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s scathing dissent may have planted the seeds for a future reversal.
Top 5 take-aways from Ginsburg’s Hobby Lobby dissent.
5. The ruling is too broad: “In a decision of startling breadth, the Court holds that commercial enterprises, including corporations, along with partnerships and sole proprietorships, can opt out of any law (saving only tax laws) they judge incompatible with their sincerely held religious beliefs.”
4. For-profit corporations are not religious organizations: “Religious organizations exist to foster the interests of persons subscribing to the same religious faith. Not so of for-profit corporations. Workers who sustain the operations of those corporations commonly are not drawn from one religious community.”
3. The ruling violates separation of church and state: “The exemption sought by Hobby Lobby and Conestoga would…deny legions of women who do not hold their employers’ beliefs access to contraceptive coverage”
2. The ruling favors an extreme form of “Christianity” over other religions: “Approving some religious claims while deeming others unworthy of accommodation could be ‘perceived as favoring one religion over another,’ the very ‘risk the [Constitution’s] Establishment Clause was designed to preclude.”
1. Where does it end?: “Would the exemption…extend to employers with religiously grounded objections to blood transfusions (Jehovah’s Witnesses); antidepressants (Scientologists); medications derived from pigs, including anesthesia, intravenous fluids, and pills coated with gelatin (certain Muslims, Jews, and Hindus); and vaccinations[?]…Not much help there for the lower courts bound by today’s decision.
[…] The court, I fear, has ventured into a minefield.”